Why Did the Hobbits Have Hope?
Evil had become invincible in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. At least, that is what the Wizards’ leader, Saruman, believed. This mighty “man of skill” – for that is what his name means – was convinced that the only sane course was to join the most powerful force on earth. His belief corrupted him. The Hobbits, on the other hand, were unskilled. They were weak and vulnerable. Why did they risk their lives to resist evil? Why did Tolkien believe that evil should be resisted and will be overcome? What were his grounds for hope? Does your culture have such transforming hope?
Please share your wisdom with us. Nazism and Communism were overrunning Tolkien’s Europe. Do you think his hope, in the face of such overwhelming evil, came from the Bible?
We would love to have you write a 2,000 word essay on The Bible, Literature and Transforming Hope and be one of the ten who will win an all expense paid Literary Tour of England. For details please visit www.RevelationMovement.com .
However, if you cannot participate in this competition, you are invited to post you answer to the above question on the Discussion Forum:
Go to www.RevelationMovement.com
Access – Library
Click on Connect
Click on Literary Tour
And post your answer.
In that Discussion Forum you will see that a number of people are engaged in serious discussion on the Bible, Literature and Hope.
Here is another question on that Discussion Forum that is waiting for an answer:
Was C. S. Lewis an escapist?
Commenting on the state of modern English novel, especially after the two World Wars, Terry Eagleton, a renowned English literary critic, in his book “The English Novel: An Introduction” says this: “[The]patrician landscapes as with the whimsical fables of P. G. Wodehouse or the Gothic scenario of Mervyn Peake, are too socially marginal to be much more than splendid curios. Much the same can be said of the fantasy worlds of the Oxford conservative medievalists (Tolkein, C. S. Lewis), natural aristocrats who, unable to see modern democratic life as much more than a dismal decline, took refuge in their own self-enclosed mythological worlds. The notion of a ‘spiritual’, traditional or authentic England underlying the degradations of the modern is inherited in different style by Peter Ackroyd. This mixture of myth, magic, freakishness and social realism has recently staged a momentous come-back with J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels.”
The questions we can discuss are: (1) What social function, if any, does “fantasy” perform? (2) Does it, especially the fiction of Lewis, strengthen democracy?
(Question by Dr. Ashish Alexander, posted on the Discussion Forum)
Many people are visiting the Discussion Forum as they prepare to write their essays. Your answer will help shape the thinking of aspiring writers who wish to draw inspiration from classic writers such as Tolkien and Lewis and others.
Anyone is welcome to participate in this contest. There is no age limit. You do not have to use Lewis and Tolkien as your literary sources. You can use any writer from any language to illustrate your points. Your essay, however, should be written in English. Essays will not be judged on the merit of your language. The judges will examine your understanding of how the Bible inspired transforming hope in literature. Hundred essayists will win Vishal’s new book The Book That Made Your World: How The Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization to be published by Thomas Nelson in April 2011. Five hundred essayists will win the novel Conspiracy of Calaspia by the Guptara Twins, Suresh and Jyoti. The winners will need to pay the postage for this book.
The last date for submitting the essay is March 1, 2011.
This is an effort to mentor the next generation of wholesome writers. You can also participate by praying and donating.
May you experience the presence and power of God in the New Year.
With best wishes,
Vishal & Ruth Mangalwadi